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Mukesh Ambani plans to follow Alibaba footsteps to enter e-commerce


Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani has a knack for identifying an opportunity and disrupting it. He did it with telecom when it launched Reliance Jio. Now, he has his eyes set on an e-commerce opportunity.

Ambani is planning to enter the above-mentioned business with an aim to provide best online and offline shopping experiences by being O2O marketplace, a business model cracked by China e-commerce behemoth Alibaba.

Offline to Online (o2o ) model enables customers to buy product or services through an offline channel by enticing them online. By leveraging a network of 4,000 own retail stores, 50 warehouses, and 4,000 Jio points, Reliance is eyeing not to spend much on acquiring customers. A strategy akin to Jack Ma led firm.

The company plans to consolidate local merchants, who will, in turn, lead to consumers, under an e-commerce platform, said a Mint report. This will help the company save on costs by staying away from the discount race.

To gain exposure in e-commerce segment, the Mumbai-based group invested in Ahmedabad-based Infibeam through VC arm of Network18.

India has $650-billion worth retail industry, only 2-3 per cent is e-commerce, and another 8 per cent is controlled by organised retailers such as Shoppers Stop and Big Bazaar.

Entrackr had earlier reported that Mukesh Ambani led firm has been working with kirana stores and consumer brands to create an operational model that will enable shoppers to buy at neighbourhood shops using digital coupons via its Jio Money platform.

Last year, it piloted the project at Mumbai, Chennai, and Ahmedabad. It plans the launch in phases. RIL would partner with 150,000 vendors. It has reportedly tied up with ITC, Wipro, Dabur, Tata Beverages, Godrej Consumer Products, and Amul.

It remains to be seen, how e-commerce space will take the entry of Reliance. One thing for sure, when it comes to buying, consumers will have a lot of options to chose from.

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